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Blog Published By Kenneth Padowitz, P.A.

‘Legislation’

Poethics: A Study in Law and Literature

legal writing in the criminal law world

There is the literature of law – the heavy tomes that recount case studies, interpretations of legislation, historical court cases and other legal situations; then there is law in literature, fictional, biographical or non-fiction stories in which legal ramifications loom large in the narration, or which deal directly with points of law. Add to that the rhetoric of the courtroom, building a case, persuading a jury or simply writing a report that will weight evidence one way or the other or stand firmly in the balanced position of presenting the facts, and you have poethics. Poethics Defined Poethics is a recognition of differences between fiction and reality, a consideration of how a lawyer or judge must use words to convey a sense of why a thing shall be adjudged in a certain way, and a correlation of the need to recognize the spirit of an existing legal ruling as well as the concrete structure of the words used to convey the mean of the law, the persuasion by the lawyer, and the decision of the judge. Richard Weisberg, in his book, Poethics and other Strategies… Read More

The Line Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor

felony vs misdemeanor

Crimes have a general classification but can be broken down further into several categories depending on the level of severity. A crime can also be ranked as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the serious consequences of the criminal act. The categorization of a crime will influence how the case is handled, which is why it is important to understand the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor. The rules that define a criminal act will influence the punishment or potential jail time the offender gets. Let’s first look at what constitutes a felony and a misdemeanor to understand the difference between the two. Felonies vs. Misdemeanors Crimes in Florida The basic distinction between a felony and misdemeanor lies on the penalty meted on the offender. The key difference lies in how much jail time and the type of prison the offender gets depending on the severity of the crime. In Florida, just like in many other states across the country, a felony case is considered to be more serious than a misdemeanor case and will usually attract harsher and lengthier conviction consequences. The District… Read More

Is It Time to Axe Bite-Mark Testimony?

bite marks forensic evidence

Evidence in Criminal Proceedings Evidence is the mainstay for timely resolution of criminal proceedings. It provides the agreeable stand on which the court—judge(s) or jury—makes convictions and acquittals. Understandably, evidence admitted for consideration exists in different forms. Traditionally, these forms include testimony of witnesses, video and/or image data, and forensic evidence—DNA or bite-mark testimony. How Bite-Mark Evidence is used During a trial, it is permissible to call on expert witnesses to testify on whether or not the criminal defendant left the teeth marks or lacerations on the victim in question. The expert witnesses called upon are forensic odontologists. What they do in simple terms is state the degree of semblance between the actual teeth of the criminal defendant to the bite-mark teeth pattern. The odontologists basis his or her decision by comparing the teeth pattern on the victim to a mold of the criminal defendant’s teeth. If a match occurs, then the court will adjudge the criminal defendant to be the source of the teeth marks. Disparaging Stats In a fundamental sense, the bite-mark testimony can be beneficial in a court trial. This has fueled… Read More

The Impact of Criminal Charges on your Driving Privilege

driving and the law

Is driving a right or a privilege? In the State of Florida, driving is considered a privilege and not a right. A person’s driving privilege can be suspended, canceled or revoked for a number of reasons that can include (but are not limited to) failing to pay a ticket, failing to pay child support, or failing to attend traffic school. Who monitors my driving privilege? In Florida, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is the agency that monitors a persons driving privilege among other services. The Agency has several offices throughout the State of Florida. Can criminal charges and convictions impact my driving privilege? Yes. Contact with the Criminal Justice system can impact an individuals driving privilege. In some instances, this impact may be temporary or short term. However, there are circumstances in which the impact may be permanent. Can having a criminal conviction affect my privilege to drive? Yes. The legislature has determined that if you are adjudicated guilty of certain crimes, the DHSMV MUST suspended your driver’s license. That means that if a person is adjudicated guilty of a crime… Read More

Can You Break the Law in Virtual Reality?

virtual reality can you commit a crime? | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. | Criminal Attorney

Virtual reality is now becoming mainstream. What was once a popular topic for science fiction, virtual reality is now becoming – for lack of a better word, a reality. The Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Microsoft HoloLens, Jaunt, One Plus, Sony PlayStation VR, and Google Cardboard are just a few of the popular VR headsets that are near release or currently available on the market. Eagle Flight allows you to fly over Paris in a virtual world. If that’s not your style, you can walk a tightrope between skyscrapers with The Walk. Still not your thing? – become a quarterback for your favorite football team with VR Sports Challenge. These are just a few things you can now do with a virtual reality headset. Consumers often report an extremely realistic experience thanks to the ever-increasing high resolution displays that are released each year. Some players of The Walk recall the difficulty one may face when it comes to taking that first step on the tight rope when you feel as if you are walking hundreds of feet in the air (despite them knowing that it is… Read More

Date Rape: What It Is, the Law and the Consequences

date rape is illegal | Kenneth Padowitz | Lawyer

Date Rape The difference between ‘date rape’ and standard ‘rape’ in the legal context is restricted to the legal meaning of the terms. Thus, they carry the same serious consequences. ‘Date rape’ is a specific form of rape where the victim knows the rapist, as opposed to the average idea that the perpetrator is a stranger to the victim. History The legal definition of rape has evolved over the years. According to common law, rape refers to the crime of having sexual intercourse without the consent of one of the participants. In time past, a required element of the definition of rape was physical force or threats of force. Currently, many states have eliminated this condition as a mandatory element of rape. The improved definition stipulates that rape occur when the perpetrator goes ahead to engage in sexual intercourse after the victim: Says “no” Refuses to give consent Is unable to consent due to physical or mental constraints that results from either being Physically disabled; or Under the influence of alcohol or drugs However, under common law, if the victim was the spouse of the… Read More

Florida “Murderabilia” and “Son of Sam” Laws

proceeds from crime son of sam law | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. | South Florida criminal Lawyer

It is the times really, crime fascinates our society, and the morbid curiosity for all things crime can be nauseating at extreme levels. The biggest culprits for the advance of this crime fascination are the media and cinema. Heinous crimes get plenty of media attention, prime networks fall over each other to get exclusives from daunting criminals, and American cinema makes a killing from crime-themed movies. However, beyond the crime-craze in the media and cinema, interest gets acute to the extent of people going to great lengths to collect criminal paraphernalia sold by imprisoned criminals. The fancy name for these criminal paraphernalia is “murderabilia.” The Term “Murderabilia” In general, “murderabilia” is a blanket term to describe artifacts (tools or substances) used or involved in a crime. However, the term may also refer to creative pieces, for example, paintings, books, or memoirs; produced by the criminal. The major reason behind collecting the creative items by the criminal is to get an enlightened take on the personality and mind pattern of the criminal, or to put it more plainly to understand the “twisted mind” of the criminal.… Read More

DUI versus DWI

what is the difference between dui and dwi? | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. | DUI lawyer

So, Are They The Same? It is easy to use DUI and DWI as synonyms, seeing how often we use them and differing definitions between jurisdictions. However, they are distinct offenses that, in some jurisdictions, carry separate charges. What is DUI? First, the more common of the two; DUI is the acronym for “Driving Under the Influence.” Typically, it relates to driving a car while you are drunk after taking copious amounts of alcohol. Nonetheless, DUI is not exclusive to alcohol. It also covers being under the influence of drugs or medications. In some states, you need not be noticably drunk or visibly impaired. This is referred to as a per se offense. What it means is that, you only have to drive a motor vehicle on a highway or road with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08% to receive a DUI charge. It really doesn’t matter if you are  slurring your words or not. Furthermore, more states are buying into the use of phrases such as “operating a vehicle” or “being in physical control of the vehicle” with the intention of widening the net of… Read More

Citizen’s Arrest and the Likelihood of False Imprisonment Charges

citizen's arrest is it legal or can it lead to felony false imprisonment charges? | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. | Criminal Lawyer

It is laudable, it sparks a feeling of accomplishment, and it is the foremost attribute of humanity: It is being a “HERO.” Our society’s fondness with the concept of heroism is very distinguishable. Many instances get media spotlight and thumbs up from social commenters. Heroic acts vary. It could be pulling someone from the smoking wreckage of an overturned car or spraying a gunman with pepper-spray and tackling him to the ground saving countless lives in the process. However, the bottom line is to be a good citizen and Good Samaritan if you are in a position to be of help in the event of an emergency. In the law, most of these acts fall under the purview of “citizen’s arrest.” The Term “Citizen’s Arrest” Citizen’s arrest, according to the law, refers to the act of a regular citizen intercepting another individual committing a crime, with the intention of catching the person and turning him or her to the police. Florida does not have any specific laws that dictate the practice. Nevertheless, guidelines and parameters do exist that detail how anyone should engage in the… Read More

Stop and Frisk

florida stop and frisk law | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A.

In the US, human right is the thread that holds the fabric of America’s diverse identity. One very important right: to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects this right. In addition to protecting the right of a person to unreasonable search and seizure, the Fourth Amendment also extends this right to homes, cars, etc. belonging to an American citizen. The bottom line of this right is to ensure that the government and its officials can only enter the premises of an individual when they meet any of the following conditions: Obtains consent from the homeowner Government official has probable cause Government officer obtains a warrant signed by a magistrate based on probable cause If exigent circumstances exist “Stop and Frisk” and Fourth Amendment Protections The protections accorded to homes and personal effects are also binding on our bodies. Thus, our bodies may not be searched or seized/arrested/incarcerated by the government or officials. However, as realities evolved, the law loosened to permit law enforcement officials to effect searches and seizures on people, especially when such action… Read More